After remarks by the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, the head of Chechnya stressed that his position does not differ from the opinion of the federal authorities.
Kosovo flag at Akhmat-Arena Photo Sport24
At the stadium in Grozny during the Russian Football Championship match between Akhmat and Spartak hung the flag of the partially recognized Republic of Kosovo. This outraged the Serbian ambassador to the Russian Federation, soon after which the Russian Foreign Ministry made a remark to the Chechen authorities – and the flag was removed.
On April 5, Serbian Ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic told Izvestia that he was “unpleasantly surprised” in Belgrade by the appearance of the Kosovo flag at the stadium. “We know very well the principled, consistent and friendly position of the Russian Federation on the territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, and nothing has changed here,” Terzic said and suggested that this was a provocation. The ambassador also asked the Russian authorities to understand what happened.
This reaction of the Serbian ambassador is related to the fact that the country considers Kosovo a part of its republic. However, Kosovo declared independence in 2008, which was recognized by 104 UN member states. Russia is not among them. The Kosovo national team was formed relatively recently and played the first official match only in September 2016.
The Russian Foreign Ministry replied to Izvestia that they had already drawn the attention of the Chechen authorities “to the inadmissibility of using symbols of unrecognized quasi-state entities on the territory of the Russian Federation.” “We consider this incident as a technical error,” – explained in the department.
Despite the fact that the conflict has developed only now, the flag of Kosovo appeared at the stadium in Grozny not in a match with Spartak, but in 2017. From this point on, Akhmat has been played by Kosovari Bernard Berish. The flags of all the teams, which are the players of the club, hang on the Akhmat-Arena.
The delegation of the Russian Football Union did not make a report about the appearance of the flag at the stadium. Therefore, the Control and Disciplinary Committee of the RFU did not consider this issue at the meeting. At the same time, the security director of the Russian Premier League, Alexander Meytin, called the banner “unauthorized.”
Already on April 5, on the day the claim was submitted by Serbia, the flag of Kosovo was removed from the stadium – just like the flags of other countries. “How was the decision made to remove the flag? I don’t know, I don’t know, ” said Ramzan Umarov, Sport24 spokesman for Akhmat , told Sport24. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, noted in his Telegram channel that he does not disagree with the position of the Kremlin.
For the football club “Akhmat” stands an athlete from Kosovo. If the flag of Kosovo turned out to be in the fan zone of the Akhmat-Arena sports complex, it was for this reason. It has nothing to do with politics.
As for the attitude of the leadership of the Chechen Republic to this issue, it strictly corresponds to the official position of the Russian Federation.
Ramzan Kadyrov head of Chechnya
The Serbian ambassador told Moscow Saying that he respects the decision of the Chechen authorities and called the behavior a “friendly and correct act” in relation to his country. He also offered to hang the flag of Serbia in the arena, but he hasn’t received an answer yet.